A/N: Okay, so this chapter is super-duper long - 2x my usual word count. Yay for James fangirls!
I paced in front of the Hospital Wing doors for a few moments after I left Evans inside. I desperately wanted to go back in there and see how she was doing, but the knowledge that Evans would probably curse my legs off, closely followed by my face, because I had sidetracked her back in Potions stopped me from placing one toe in the Hospital Wing door.
Merlin, I was so stupid! How could I have let her open that damn jar?
Cursing my idiocy, I continued to walk up and down the corridor. Of course I had to be a complete unobservant arse (Evans's words from past arguments) and forget that she was handling potentially dangerous ingredients.
Forget it. Multitasking was overrated. For me at least, as it seemed that I couldn't think and talk at the same time.
Bloody hell, even Snivellus managed to do that on a regular basis!
Mostly. At least, whenever he wasn't around Evans. Then he seemed as tongue-tied and brainless as I was.
I shuddered. It was the only thing we had in common.
Of course, I was far more handsome than Snivellus even on my worst day, so there was no competition there. Especially after I hexed his skin a different colour and added boils to his arms for aesthetic effect. The complementary red boils and green overtones did look very nice together. Sod it all, my mates knew nothing. I was a fabulous artist.
I figured I had two options open to me: I could march back in there and hopefully squeeze in one measly apology before she did incredibly painful magical harm to my person, or I could turn around and skive off the rest of Potions in the kitchens, drowning my sorrows in a large mug of butterbeer.
Yeah, I liked the second option too.
I made my way to the kitchens; down the two flights of stairs and through the door hiding as solid wall. I swiftly walked across the Great Hall to the entrance to the basement. I tickled the pear, which laughed before the whole frame swung forward. Immediately an intoxicating scent of roast chicken, mashed potatoes and something sweet assailed my senses as I stepped into the Hogwarts kitchens.
"Hello Mr. Potter, sir!" a house elf squeaked at my elbow. "Is there anything Buzz can get you?"
I smiled down at his eager face practically bobbing around my midsection in his willingness to please. "I'll have a butterbeer and whatever snacks you have laying around, thanks," I said as Buzz steered me toward a small table in the corner, a few feet away from the mock Hufflepuff table near the far left wall.
"Buzz is getting Mr. Potter his drink right now, sir!" he said happily before he scuttled off.
I barely had time to let out a horribly depressed sounding sigh before Buzz was back, this time holding a very full container of butterbeer. He brought another house elf with him who was holding a tray laden with tea sandwiches and various assortments of biscuits.
Merlin, it looked as if her twiggy little arms would snap off at any second from the weight. Quickly I took the snacks from her to set them down at my table.
"Is there anything else Dolly can get the young master?" she asked in a high voice, looking demurely down at my shoes once she was relieved of her burden.
"No thank you," I said to the pair of them, "This is great." As if to illustrate my point, I chose a biscuit at random and took a huge bite.
"Dolly and Buzz is happy to hear that, Mr. Potter," beamed Buzz. "Dolly and Buzz will be getting ready for dinner now."
"Y'go do tha,' " I said with my mouth full of biscuit.
They left me and I was left to wallow in my misery in peace.
Evans would kill me once she got back in her right mind. I had even made that truce and refrained from asking her out! Mostly. But I think she got the message, at least. She did pass notes with me earlier and talk to me during lunch... that had to mean something, right?
Knowing Evans she would just see what she wanted to see: an obnoxious prat who annoyed the hell out of her and couldn't do anything right.
Scowling to myself, I was just draining my butterbeer as someone entered the kitchens. I was too glum to even bother to muster up the energy and turn around.
"Shouldn't you be in Potions right about now?" a voice reprimanded me from the middle of a cloud of smoke.
I grunted in response.
In the distance I hear high pitched yelps; I guessed that the house elves must've set something on fire by accident. Either that or they were trying their luck at fajitas.
Privately, I was hoping for the latter.
"Really, you're Head Boy. Skiving of class is never good," admonished the dark outline that was growing steadily more solid.
Totally corporeal now, Remus stopped to stand right next to the side of my chair. "What would Lily say?" he continued, grabbing two chocolate biscuits. He shoved one in his pocket for later and immediately began nibbling on the one left in his hand.
"Probably that I am a horrible Potions partner who deserves to die a cruel and unusual death at the hands of an emerald-eyed redhead who read up on some very colourful potions for Slughorn's extra credit last night and needs a guinea pig to test them on," I said morosely before I lifted my tankard and drained the last few drops of butterbeer.
Remus paused with the biscuit halfway to his mouth. "Um, Prongs? That was highly detailed," he said with raised eyebrows.
"It was," I agreed.
"I sense that you gave this a lot of thought."
"Care to elaborate?"
Remus pulled up a chair. I grimaced. I could tell that he was going to prise the story out of me no matter how long it took. Stupid Moony couldn't see that I wanted to be alone? I mean, I was scowling, I had my glasses off – all the better to broodingly glare at fuzzy random objects, and I had even splattered some stray butterbeer drops on my white shirt when I slammed my empty glass back down oh so angrily on the table. If that didn't scream, I-am-being-antisocial-so- back-off-like-a-little-girl-or-face-my-wrath, I didn't know what did. Hell, I might up and scream just that at Remus if he wasn't careful. I think I'd just say 'go the fuck away' and leave it at that. The other exclamation was a little wordy and hard to remember.
"You sure? Maybe if you tell me what's going on I could help," explained Remus as he sat down.
"Suit yourself." He took another biscuit and signalled to a house elf to refill my butterbeer and get one for himself.
I gaped at him and put my glasses back on. "What, no prying? No, 'sharing is a cathartic experience that every traumatized individual must go through to achieve salvation' or whatever nonsense you usually sprout?"
Remus gave me a pitying smile and chuckled softly to himself. "Relieve frustration, Prongs. Not 'achieve salvation,'" he snickered.
He rolled his eyes. "Honestly." He took a sip of his newly arrived butterbeer.
I shrugged. Not my fault if I usually tuned him out when he was lecturing. Usually it was because he was reprimanding me, but in the rare cases like these I stopped listening because the damn bugger was too good. He snuck up on you entirely unawares with all his coaxing and stupid rational reasons for everything. Before I knew it I'd be spilling my entire guts out to Moony and then bawling like a child on the floor, blaming my parents for my sexual frustration.
Ehh. That's an exaggeration.
Because I would not be crying.
Because I am a man. No, I would probably be throwing large, heavy objects around the room in a very masculine fashion and making a general ruckus. Of course.
Because making ruckuses was what men did. Not tearing up after getting all emotional because he had been rejected for the whopping hundredth and fifty second time in a row. No, as Sirius so often said, that's what thirteen-year-old girls did. No self respecting man would be caught bemoaning his obviously dead future and crying over a bird. Er, I might have been caught inhaling Draught of Death fumes a couple of times, but that was an entirely different matter.
"Come on, Prongs, what's Lily done to get your knickers in a twist?" asked Remus as he leaned back in his chair, butterbeer nestled comfortably in his right hand.
"You sound like Padfoot."
"Yes, well, we have been living together for the greater part of seven years." He paused and then continued, "I repeat, what in Merlin's name did Lily do?"
"Who said she's done anything?"
Remus sighed and selected an extra large chocolate biscuit. "I see," he said in a significant voice. "What did you do to get her knickers in a twist?"
I remained stonily silent.
"Come on, Prongs," he wheedled, "I can't help if I don't know what's going on."
"Then don't help."
Remus finished his biscuit in record time and then surveyed me patiently over his butterbeer. Clearly he wasn't having any of my surliness.
"Go the fuck away," I said shortly.
"Now that's not very nice," Remus said, frowning at me as he lowered his glass.
"Yeah, well I'm not a nice person."
"I beg to differ."
Remus sighed again set his half full butterbeer on the table. "So, Prongs, what did you do to convince Lily that you aren't a nice person?" he asked, his golden eyes searching my face intently for any clues.
Resist! Resist! Res-!
"I let her inhale madwort powder in Potions earlier," I admitted.
Remus looked confused. "What does that do again?" he asked, drumming his fingers on the table as he tried to remember. Merlin, Potions was really his one weak point. Er, apart from that other weak point that happens about once a month.
"Makes you go all loopy and gives you a hacking cough for a year or so unless treated immediately," I explained dejectedly before taking another sip of my butterbeer.
"Oh my," Remus breathed, looking at me closely. He stopped his table tapping.
"You're telling me," I sighed.
"So did you get her help immediately?"
"Well, yeah," I muttered.
Remus smiled and this time selected a small ham sandwich to eat. "Then what's the problem?" he asked once he had chewed and swallowed. "I take it she's fine, but then why do you look like an emotional wreck? What gives?"
"I should've warned her, remembered about the stupid powder..."
Remus looked troubled. "As I recall Lily is even better at Potions than you are. Why couldn't she remember herself?"
I looked away sheepishly. "Because she was too busy telling me off," I explained slowly.
Remus whistled. "And why was she telling you off?"
"Er, because I asked her who she fancied?" I said, wincing as I anticipated Remus's reaction.
He groaned. "Why in Merlin's name would you do that?"
"I was curious!" I repeated in the same defensive manner as before.
Remus raised one hand to rub his fingers along his temple. "Prongs, really, how many times do I have to tell you? She's not going to ever fancy you if you're constantly trying to shove yourself in her face. Give her time. Right now she can't see what a great bloke you are because for some bizarre reason that is completely beyond me, you keep acting like a total prat whenever you're around her."
"I understand but-" I tried to cut in, but Remus was nowhere near finished.
"Tone it down and stop trying to show her how much you fancy her – believe me, she's really not worth it if she's hasn't gotten the message by now. You know, some things can work themselves out on their own."
I snorted. "Like fate or something?"
Remus blushed slightly. "Something like that."
"Please don't tell Padfoot," he pleaded. "He'll take the mickey out of me for ages if he gets wind that I've been reading those adventure novels again."
"I solemnly swear your secret is safe with me," I said, grinning.
"Why do I get the feeling that your word is less than admirable?" grumbled Remus as took a long drink from his butterbeer.
"I take offense at that!" I blustered.
Remus made a disbelieving sound over the rim of his glass. "Please, Prongs. You can't keep anything from Padfoot."
"No, you can't," he contradicted shrewdly. "Remember when you found out about my 'furry little problem'? I asked, nay, pleaded, with you to not tell anyone else. What happened next?"
"I didn't breathe a word to anyone for the next month and a half!"
Remus rolled his eyes. "Please. You were passing notes with Padfoot that entire time before the big confrontation he had with me."
"See?" I said excitedly, "I didn't tell him anything!"
Remus began to laugh. "That's entirely beside the point. And I thought you were bright enough to understand the general idea I was trying to convey..."
"I was twelve!"
"No one is that stupid at twelve, Prongs."
"Yeah they are. The little midgets have smaller brains at that age."
"I can't even think up a response to that."
"Because the sheer brilliance of it leaves you speechless," I said smugly.
"No," Remus paused, "because it is the most ridiculous reasoning I have ever heard."
"Oh I don't doubt it, Prongs, but the relevancy still eludes me." Remus glanced at me and smiled. "Come on let's get out of here. The period ended fifteen minutes ago. Gryffindor Tower?" he asked as he stood up to leave.
"Sure," I said distractedly, draining my second mug of butterbeer as I gathered my things together, "Let's go."
We both trooped out of the kitchens, waving to the house elves on our way out. They cheerily squeaked goodbyes and as usual offered us goods to take back with us. We politely refused, as we had learned from experience that it was much, much harder to sneak away from the kitchens and back to Gryffindor Tower when carrying baskets and hampers of pastries.
Thank Merlin Dumbledore liked raspberry tarts.
"Wait, Moony," I asked as we turned to climb the first staircase, "Why were you in the kitchens in the first place?"
Remus smiled. "I had a free because I don't take Potions and so I figured it would be the best time to restock my chocolate supply. My original destination had been Hogsmeade, but I got sidetracked. I was going to use that secret passage behind the painting of the raja a little ways off from the kitchens," he explained, "Anyway, I pulled out the map and saw where your dot was and I decided to come and investigate."
"Sorry I interrupted your chocolate run, Moony," I apologized.
"No problem," he said lightly. "But I'll have you know, that you're coming with me on my next one because you interrupted the original plan."
"So, what do you want to do later?" Remus asked, "Check up on Lily?"
I blanched. "Shite," I muttered.
He turned to stare at me curiously. "What's wrong, Prongs?" he asked in a bemused voice.
"Evans. Meeting." I glanced at my watch. "Fuck, it began five minutes ago, she's going to kill me in an even more painful way than before!" I hiked my bag more securely on my shoulder and called to Remus over my shoulder, "Sorry Moony, got to go!" I sprinted for everything my life was worth to get to the Heads Common Room.
I skidded to a halt in front of the painting three minutes later, totally winded and panting for air. "Shoelace," I gasped in the direction of the middle aged man in vivid purple robes who was currently playing what looked like solitaire on the lone kitchen table that was depicted in his picture. "Go on in, sonny," he said before he swung forward.
Bracing myself for Evans's wrath, I cautiously peeked into the door while mentally cursing my loud, heavy breathing for giving away my position.
No one was there.
I straightened up and entered the room like a normal person, sweeping my eyes once again around the Heads common room. I was now sure it was empty. Frowning to myself, I dropped my bag underneath the centre table and walked over to flop myself down on one of the pale orange couches that lined the walls.
Of course, she must still be in the Hospital Wing, I reasoned with myself. I checked my watch again. Yes, the meeting should've started ten minutes ago. And she wasn't here.
I quietly revelled in the whole backwardness of it all. Me, here only a few minutes late and Evans not here at all. How odd.
At least I'll get a chance to think of what I want to say to her, I thought to myself as I stretched out on the couch. I mean, I did get her practically poisoned and all. I think that would require some sort of apology? Desperate, pathetic begging and pleading should do the trick, I supposed.
Just as I was polishing up the finer points of my speech, Evans herself emerged from the portrait hole.
All the words seemed to be magically wiped from my mind when I caught sight of her. Bloody hell, she was so gorgeous, even with her fiery hair in a messy bun and her skin paler than normal. The contrast made it look like she was glowing softly in the firelight. It was kind of nice.
If only she would turn around... I'm sure the light would make her bum look very nice as well.
I guess we can't have everything in life because Evans didn't turn around to let me admire that particular spot. Truthfully I would probably faint dead away if she did.
Instead she just had to open her mouth and ruin the moment. "Potter!" she said sharply as she caught sight of me on the couch. "You're here?"
I was slightly offended. "Of course," I said, crossing my arms over my chest. "You told me to be here, so here I am."
Strangely enough Evans followed my pronouncement with a sort of nervous smile. "Oh right," she gave a small laugh, "Let's get started, shall we?"
She walked to the table, sat down, and began hauling papers out of her bag.
"So, er, Evans," I asked as I took the seat next to her, "What exactly are we supposed to be doing?"
Evans looked up at me with wide eyes. Blinking slowly, she arrested her hands from shuffling the papers. "Wait, Potter," she started, keeping steady eye contact with me, "I think we should talk about a few things first."
Perfect. And now let's commence the yelling!
Still, I wanted to head her off before she began. I opened my mouth to ramble out whatever remnants of my prepared apology remained in my memory.
Um, what? As I was being a total arse, I thought that it was my job to make up at least some lost ground by apologizing profusely. What was Evans's excuse?
I snapped my mouth closed, else it remained open for too long and started attracting doxies.
"Look, I shouldn't have overreacted," muttered Evans, looking down at her lap. "I mean, that's what our whole truce was, right? I was supposed to not lose my temper with you." She gave me a wry smile. "But, in my defence, you do make it very hard."
"I try," I said, unable to help myself.
Instead of getting angry at me for interrupting her, she laughed slightly. True, it was quiet and still tinged with nerves, but a laugh nonetheless.
I revelled in it.
Her smile got a smidge wider as she took in my beaming face. "Sometimes I think you really do," she sighed, rolling her eyes. "Anyway, I'm sorry and I hope we can still work together without anything getting too out of hand."
"Of course, Evans!" I said cheerfully, taking one of her papers and examining it. "So what are we doing exactly?"
"Oh," she said, sitting up straighter and looking a lot more confident now that the whole ordeal of apologizing to a bloke she loathed (but of course secretly had a burning passion for) was out of the way. "The prefect timetables that arranged on the Hogwarts Express aren't working," she explained.
I scanned the columns and rows of times and names that Evans had neatly printed on several pieces of parchment. "I see why," I muttered, running a hand through my hair as I thought.
Evans threw me a disbelieving expression. "And how would you know that?"
"Look," I said, pointing to a row, "You have Slytherins patrolling the dungeons? I know they have the homepitch advantage for catching rule breakers, but I'm guessing they'd rather sit in their cold and clammy dungeon common room than patrol."
Evans stared at me. "Yes, that was a problem I was beginning to notice," she admitted.
"And see," I said, pointing to a couple of names, "You have way too many Gryffindors paired up with Slytherins for patrol duty."
She sighed. "I knew it was risky, but I hoped..."
I gave her a half smile. "I know. But you can't force people to like each other. Believe me, I've tried." I made a face at her.
Evans openly laughed at that. "Don't I know it."
I shook my head sadly, trying my hardest to keep the grin off my face. "I know, and I tried for so long, but she was just so... " I trailed off.
"So...what?" Evans asked, emerald eyes narrowing slightly.
"Stubborn? Cold?" I proposed, while taking my glasses off and polishing them slowly on my robes to keep my eyes away from her face.
By the time I had gotten them all spic and span and settled them back on my nose, Evans was about ready to blow. Ah this was fun! I really did love the thrill of winding her up. Usually Remus was there to point out the invisible sign on Evans's forehead that read quite clearly, "Annoy at your own risk." However, no Remus now, so I was free to do whatever stupid things I wanted to!
"Potter, I'll have you know-" she began furiously, but I spoke above her and drowned out her voice.
"Self righteous?" I proposed thoughtfully.
That was possibly the worse thing I could have said. She turned an even deeper shade of red at my words and abruptly her quill snapped in her tightly clenched fist. Ignoring that, she continued heatedly, "-that no one can expect me to stand by idly while being so blatantly insulted, stupid truce or no!"
I cut her off. "As I was saying, there are more adjectives, but the point is that Theresa Hewett was a right bitch and she didn't mesh well with anyone," I finished, highly enjoying watching Evans's expression of anger melt into total confusion.
"Wait," she said slowly, her eyes raking all over my face for some explanation, "You're talking about Theresa Hewett?"
"Of course," I scoffed, "Horrible Chaser to boot."
"Chaser," repeated Evans in a dull voice.
"Yeah," I said airily, "Remember? She was on the time for that one match fourth year. Lost us the game because she was so bloody awful. Don't know what I was thinking when I put her on the team."
Evans was staring at her hands, a brilliant blush blooming over her cheeks. "But I thought..." she drifted off.
"What?" I asked in a falsely surprised voice, "You thought I was talking about you?"
She looked up at my grinning face and nodded silently.
"Course not," I said simply.
"Good," she said suddenly in a loud voice, "Because I am not stubborn, cold, or bloody self righteous!"
"I know that," I said, even though she totally could be. I just wasn't going to be the one to tell her. Fanciable or not, Evans could be all of those things or more when put in the right situation. "You're beautiful, intelligent and nice," I told her instead.
Shaking her head at me, Evans started to laugh. "Honestly, Potter... only you."
I smiled right along with her.
She raised her eyes to the ceiling and then back to my face. "Did you just say those things so could compliment me in the end?"
"Of course," I said breezily, diverting my eyes back to the parchment littering the table. "And, hey, I even managed to not get hexed for all those nice things I said!"
"Yet," murmured Evans out of the corner of her mouth.
"Yet," I agreed.
We continued to discuss the prefect's timetable after that. I figured I had put her through enough – next time I might not play my words as carefully as before.
"So, what do we propose we do with the Ravenclaws on Tuesday nights?" she asked me, forehead furrowed in concentration.
"Well, I think we should pair up Singh with Kyle instead, as she currently fancies who she is paired up with now, what's-his-face."
"Rosenberg," Evans supplied instantly.
"Yeah him. That way when they do get their act together and go on a date, we won't have to reprimand them for snogging in the corridors when they were supposed to be patrolling."
Evans gave me an appraising look.
"What?" I shrugged. "Sirius heard it a while back while chatting up Singh during Muggle Studies. And I know from Remus that prefects frequently skive off their duties for snogging sessions."
Evans looked scandalized. "What! I never heard-" she started, eyes wide.
"Calm down," I laughed, "Remus only said that it was if they got bored and didn't catch anyone the whole night."
She didn't look appeased in the slightest. "Potter, we have to do something about that," she insisted sharply.
"Fine," I said, "What do you think we should do?" I raised my eyebrows at her.
She blinked, clearly searching for some solution to the problem. "I guess we'll just speak to them at the next meeting."
We continued talking and making arrangements for twenty or so minutes, and it was only as Evans gave a small cough while giving me a summary of Prefect duties that I remembered the one thing that I had promised myself that I would say to Evans.
"I'm sorry," I said out of the blue.
Evans looked totally bemused. "Excuse me?" she asked, lowering her quill and giving me an odd look. "For not knowing Prefect duties? I mean, yes, I did expect the Head Boy to know the Prefect responsibilities, but after finding out it was, well, you, I wasn't all that surprised that you had no idea what you were doing. In fact, shouldn't Remus be the one saying that after all these years? The Prefect's Guide is probably the only book he hasn't picked up after all these years..."
"No," I said as her green eyes bore into mine, "Um, for that thing in Potions earlier. I should have been more aware of what you were doing. It was my fault."
She continued to stare at me. "But, that wasn't your fault at all," she contradicted. "I wasn't thinking straight-"
"Yeah, because of me," I said grimly.
Evans gave me an appraising look. "Potter, as surprised as I am at this astonishing display of gallantry, I still fail to see how the incident was your fault."
I chose not to make a comment about how my gallantry should be in any way surprising at all – I was always gallant. I practically effused gallantry. Gallantry was the unspoken Potter middle name since Potters have been Gryffindors, that was like a bazillion years, by the way.
"But," I contradicted, "I asked you who you fancied!"
Evans rolled her eyes. "Look, the truce never specified anything about asking me who I fancied. It was unfair of me to lose my temper like that."
"But," I began slowly.
"No," Evans said with finality. "I'm not mad, and you're not mad, so we're all good, right?"
"Now," she picked up the last piece of parchment lying on the table, "What are we going to do about this?"
"Okay," I said, peering over her shoulder, "so we've got that the Hufflepuffs will be patrolling the fourth floor instead of the Astronomy tower because their too lenient toward the many, many students out of bounds?" I asked, peering over her shoulder.
"And that the fifth years of all houses will be nowhere near the empty classrooms on the third floor," I continued and then added, "want to save them from any permanent mental scarring until at least they come of age."
She winced. "Yes we do."
I grinned at her. "Aw, what happened Evans?" I asked.
She paused before beginning and her eyes darted around the room embarrassedly as she spoke. "Halfway through fifth year I caught a couple of older students in one of those empty classrooms. I had to go get an older prefect to tell them off, I was so mortified. I had, erm, never seen people so-so-"
"Starkers?" I offered.
Evans's eyes flickered to mine and she tossed me a sheepish smile. "Yeah."
"Anyway," I said, turning my eyes back to the parchment at hand, "I think this just might work. There's just the problem of who will patrol the rest of the castle Monday and Thursday. We have most of the floors covered, but there is still a wing or two left."
There was a moment's pause as we both tried to come up with names.
"Potter," Evans said slowly as her eyes skimmed the parchment once more, "we're both free."
I turned to look at her. "Really?"
"Yeah," she said in a low voice.
"You'd be willing to patrol with me twice a week? Me, James Potter, Marauder extraordinaire?"
"Yeah," she repeated. "It fits. Look, I don't want to mess it up again since we've got it all organized and everything. Plus, having you as a partner won't be the worst thing in the world."
"No, it won't be," I told her fervently.
Evans smiled. "Great." She stood up and began gathering the papers strewn over the table to put in her bad. "So, I think that's all," said Evans as she pushed in her chair. "Er, see you tomorrow?"
"Yeah," I breathed.
She paused, clearly unsure of what form of good-bye would be proper for us.
She made a move to shake my hand, but thought better of it. Instead she turned to go, waving at me once she was right in front of the portrait hole.
I half heartedly waved back and she left without another word.
I followed Evans out of the Heads common room a few minutes later and walked back to my dormitory, thinking hard. So, me and Evans were going to patrol together twice a week. In the dark. Surrounded by snogging couples.
And I could do nothing about it. No moves, no nothing.
I arrived at the Fat Lady, told her the password and crossed the common room. As it was only eight, there were students of all ages still up and working. I greeted a couple of people, but I didn't stay and chat.
Finally I ascended the spiral staircase up to the boy's dorms and entered.
"Prongs!" greeted Remus from his bed. "How was Lily?"
"Good," I said shortly.
"You didn't do anything stupid, did you?" Remus asked, eyes narrowing.
"Course he did," Sirius said from where he was hanging upside down off the side of his bed. "Prongs is stupidity's bitch, everyone knows that."
Peter chuckled but decided not to comment.
"I did not do anything stupid!" I said hotly, dropping my bag on my bed. "I'll have you know, I even managed to get myself partnered with her for patrols."
Sirius dropped his essay and the sound of parchment fluttering to the floor was the only thing to be heard in the dormitory for a moment.
"Bloody hell, well done Prongs!" Sirius exclaimed, hopping off his bed and clapping me on the back.
"Did you bribe, trick or otherwise impede on Lily's free will to get this accomplished?" Remus asked, turning back to his book once he had gotten over the shock.
"No," I said, scowling at Remus. "She was the one who proposed it in the first place."
"Really?" asked Peter, "You didn't, I dunno, Imperius her or something?"
"Don't be such a prat, Wormtail," called Sirius, "That's illegal!"
"So?" Peter stated, shutting his Charms textbook to give me his full attention, "Nothing legal has worked so far, who's to say Prongs thought outside the box?"
"Outside the law, more like," muttered Remus behind his pages.
"No, I did not use any type of magical persuasion on Evans," I said tiredly as I walked over to sink down on my bed.
"Good for you, mate," said Sirius, waving his wand so his essay flew up into the air and resettled itself on his nightstand. "So what's the plan? Kick me out of my usual broom closet and then shove her in there and ravish her yourself?"
"Spare me," said Remus to no one in particular.
"Er, no," I said awkwardly.
"Going to romance her first, then?" Peter asked, staring at me curiously. "Because didn't you establish early on in sixth year that if you spend any time dillydallying with flowers and such you won't ever get the 'will you go out with me Evans' part out due to unexpected cases of tentacles or green warts?"
"Remember that time when Evans charmed a storm cloud to appear and hurl lightning bolts at Prongs every time he finished a sentence?" asked Sirius, grinning.
Peter smiled too.
Remus sighed, but the corners of his mouth were upturned in a small smile. "I've never heard such run on sentences in my life, Prongs."
"Yeah, well. It made my hair stick up even more than it usually did."
"And you couldn't have that, could you?" said Peter wryly.
"Of course not," I scoffed. "It screwed up the whole windblown effect I have going on."
"More like the I-can't-be-bothered-to-buy-a-decent-comb effect," muttered Sirius.
"Shut it, you," I said, hurling a balled up pair of socks at his head.
Sirius waved his wand and the socks slowed down in midair to drop harmlessly at the foot of his bed.
"Better aim, next time Prongs. Remind me how you even got to be captain in third year again?"
"Dashing good looks?"
"Don't even try that one. You were a scrawny little git at thirteen," dismissed Sirius.
"I was not!"
"Sorry, but I can't deny it either."
"You're good looking now, and that's what counts, yeah?"
I didn't respond. Instead I huffily got out my Transfiguration book and prepared to answer McGonagall's questions.
"Wait, Prongs, what is you plan with Evans?" Sirius asked a few minutes later.
"Eh?" I asked, looking up at him.
"We never got it out of you – what are you planning with Evans on your patrols together?" restated Sirius, tossing my socks from one hand to the other.
"Nothing?" Remus repeated curiously as he lowered the cover of his book.
"Nothing," I reaffirmed.
"Making it up as you go along? Best plan, in my book," said Sirius with a conspiratorial nod in my direction.
Remus sighed. "Prongs, really, haven't you tried this before? And hasn't it ended badly?"
"No," I said, shaking my head, "I mean, I'm going to do nothing."
"In the name of Merlin's rusty cauldron, why?" asked Sirius, totally bemused.
"Because of the truce."
"Truce? What truce?" Peter asked, looking from Sirius to Remus for any sign of recognition. "I don't remember a truce."
"I made an agreement this morning in Herbology," I explained to them, "I would stop asking her out, and in turn she wouldn't get too mad at me when I slip up."
Sirius groaned. "Why would you do a silly thing like that, Prongs?"
Peter just looked even more confused.
Remus, however, was beaming.
"It seemed like a good idea at the time!" I muttered.
"And it was," said Remus kindly. "Now you'll eventually be mates; get to know her better and vice versa. Maybe then you can get her to warm up to you."
"Yeah, that's all good and dandy, Moony," Sirius said sourly, "but how does that get him into her pants?"
Remus looked like he was praying for patience. "It doesn't. But that's not the point."
"What's the point, here, Prongs?" Pete asked.
"I dunno," I admitted. "But I want to be her mates. I mean, not on the same level as with you guys, but I just want to be with her, you know? I'd rather snog her, but I'll settle for decent conversation."
"Your choice, Prongs," said Sirius as pulled his half completed essay off his nightstand. I could tell from his expression that he thought I was making the wrong one.
The night continued on with no further talk of Evans, instead we started our preliminary planning for the full moon next month.
I fell asleep at midnight and dreamed of exploring the darker passages of the castle with girlish giggles echoing off the walls that made me jump with every step.
As usual Remus's alarm clock got us up promptly at seven AM and we all trooped downstairs once we had gotten all our shoes on the right feet and had stopped putting our robes on inside out. Bleary eyed and yawning hugely, we entered the Great Hall and sat down at the Gryffindor table.
"Anything on the agenda today?" asked Sirius as he helped himself to a small mountain of waffles.
"Don't think so," I said, lifting my glasses to rub some of the sleep away from my eyes. "We were too knackered to plan anything for today."
"Ri'," said Sirius thorugh a mouthful of toast.
We continued to eat in semi silence until the post arrived. Two owls soared down to our section of the table, one for me, one for Pete.
"Who's it from Prongs?" Sirius asked interestedly, leaning over my shoulder to read.
"Er, penpal," I said distractedly as I read the letter. She didn't like Quidditch? That just about kills any hope I had of us actually getting along.
Plus she assumed I had relationship advice to give her. She would be disappointed; I was just about as useful as a drunken mountain troll to her problematic situation.
"Pete?" Sirius turned to the boy in question.
"Same as Prongs," he responded, unfurling the scroll attached to his owl's leg.
"Who's your correspondent?" I asked once I was done reading my letter.
"Er, nobody," Peter said shiftily as he stuffed his letter under the table and into his bag.
"Come on, you have to give us more than that!" Sirius exclaimed.
"I dunno," Peter said, busying himself with applying jam to his toast.
" 'I dunno,' as in 'I dunno' who he is or 'I dunno' what the letter actually says?" I asked, a bit annoyed at Peter's reticence.
"Look, I dunno. It's some Slytherin pureblood," said Peter eventually.
"Really," Sirius remarked flatly with a raised eyebrow. "Hand it over Pete."
Peter reached into his rucksack and pulled out his letter. He offered it to Sirius. Sirius took hold of it with the very tips of his forefingers, as if he was afraid it would contaminate him. He quickly pulled out his wand and muttered the spell to set the letter aflame.
"Hey!" Peter said in protest as he watched the piece of parchment crumbling before his mate. "What are you doing?"
"Burning it," said Sirius shortly, scowling at the ashes that had settled on his golden plate.
"Because it's evil," Sirius growled, still glaring at the remains of Peter's letter.
"Still it was my letter!" exclaimed Peter.
"I thought you were going to read it, not destroy it!" Peter retorted.
"Why would I read rubbish like that?" asked Sirius, plainly outraged.
"I dunno," Peter said, turning a bit red, "to laugh at it?"
"It's not a laughing matter," Sirius said coldly. "These people are dangerous, Wormtail. You'd do better to stay away from the lot of them."
Peter didn't respond, but I could tell that he was still angry at Sirius for taking his property and then lighting it on fire.
Privately I agreed with Sirius; I thought all those slimy snakes should be forbidden from speaking ever again.
We spent the rest of breakfast in silence. Sirius was brooding to himself, no doubt dwelling on his parents and dark skeletons in their closets that the rest of us didn't know about. Peter was silently eating his food, still pretty annoyed at Sirius for acting on his behalf. Remus kept shooting furtive looks at the both of them, probably trying to figure out a way to appease the situation and avoid Sirius's temper and Peter's inclination to sulk.
As for me, I reread my letter from T a couple of times and tried to figure out some advice to give her that wouldn't end up biting her in the arse.
"Er, let's go," Remus said after a quarter of an hour of silence. "We need to be in Defence soon."
"Right," I said, watching Sirius swing his bag on his should and stalk out of the Great Hall without us.
I watched him go, knowing that it would be best to let him cool off on his own. The three of us remaining also got up to leave, but Peter started to lag behind. He looked deep in thought.
Remus and I ended up walking up to Defence alone together. We entered the classroom and took seats near the front. I sat next to Sirius and Remus saved a seat for Peter. He arrived three minutes later, breathing heavily. He had obviously sprinted the last few yards for fear of being late.
I noticed out of the corner of my eye that Evans slipped into the classroom not long after Peter. She was taking a in the back just as Morningside called for the lesson to begin.
"Right class," Morningside began briskly, "As we've been reviewing the basic concept of jinxes and curses for your NEWTs, I think it's about time we have a practical lesson. We all know the simply theory is dreadfully boring." She gave us a sympathetic smile over her horn rimmed glasses.
She received a few sickly smiles in return from the arse-kissing Slytherins in the class.
"Rather than suffer the chaos of two dozen students running rampant around the classroom shooting hexes every which way," Morningside continued, "I'll call up the two students who gave me the best essays after last lesson to demonstrate for you all first. Then I think we can manage three pairs at once, yes?"
There was a general murmur of assent.
"All right, stand up the rest of you, and form a circle around the Head Boy and Girl," Morningside said. She pulled out her wand and all the desks flew to the sides of the room and piled neatly one on top of the other.
I shot a surprised look at Sirius, who shrugged, and walked confidently to the centre of the classroom.
Evans appeared beside me a moment later, wand out and a curious smile plastered on her face.
I gulped. She looked quite scary, actually.
"Right, obviously no Dark magic, just your run of the mill jinxes," Morningside said from behind us. I turned to glance at her; she had sat upon her desk to watch.
"You ready, Potter?" asked Evans as she began to circle inside the ring of classmates.
"Of course," I said easily as I followed her path inside the circle of onlookers.
"Expelliarmus!" she called.
I easily dodged her spell.
"Come on, Potter, hit me with your best shot," she taunted.
I didn't comment. Instead I kept my eyes trained on her wand.
A moment later she fired three jets of light in rapid succession. I was able to weave out of the way of two of them; however, the last caught me on the shoulder.
I could feel her hex sting, but I ignored it.
"Not going to jinx me?" Evans asked in a surprised voice, but her eyes remained wary.
"Nope," I said in the same casual tone.
Evans laughed. It was cold and grated on my ears. "Don't you enjoy cursing people?"
"Really?" Evans called in a sing song voice, "I could've sworn there are about a hundred detention slips in the basement with your name on them for jinxing students in the hallways. Immobulus!"
"I don't do that anymore," I retorted, dodging her curse again.
"You sure? You sure you still don't have the barest inkling to turn annoying students blue or to make all their hair fall out?"
"No," I said, casting a shield charm so that her silent jelly-legs jinx simply bounced off it.
"And I'm supposed to believe that?" Evans asked, raising her eyebrows.
"Dammit Potter, why won't you curse me?" she demanded.
"Language, Miss Evans," Morningside commanded.
"Sorry Professor," she responded automatically.
"I don't want to," I said calmly, waving my wand and silently reinforcing my shield.
"You don't want to," repeated Evans. "Of course, if the almighty Potter doesn't want to, nobody is going to force him," she sneered.
I didn't respond. I couldn't say precisely why I was so adverse to casting one measly spell. I guess it was because it was Evans. How could I curse Evans? People weren't supposed to go around cursing the object of their fancy! It just wasn't right. She wasn't a slithering snake who deserved it, she was...fuck. She was Evans.
"Honestly, you're just a spoiled brat, aren't you? Never had to work for anything in your life, everything handed to you on a silver platter. Confringo!"
My strengthened shield charm protected me from the worst of her blast, but it accomplished what Evans intended. Unable to bear the weight of her curse, it dissolved.
"Locomotor Mortis!" she cried.
I threw myself out of the way just in time.
I quickly scrambled to my feet and out of the way of a fresh slew of jinxes she sent my way.
"Merlin, Potter!" breathed Evans, "Why do you have to be so bloody difficult all of the time? Can't you just once do what you're told?" she demanded, and with each stressed word she sent a silent spell my way.
I dodged them all.
She was clenching her wand so tightly, her knuckles had turned white. "And you wonder why I never fancied you, Potter? This is it. This is exactly why I find you so repulsive. You'll never grow up, will you? Honestly, this time last year you would have jumped at the opportunity to hex another student. Now that you've been given permission it's lost all its appeal, hasn't it? No, you just can't work inside the rules because it's not in your nature. You have to go be so petty and immature. I know you, Potter. Your principles are so set, you'll never change and you'll never get me. I'll never go out with you and so you have to go vent your frustration by breaking as many rules as you can with your stupid friends."
"Fuck, Evans," I shouted, ignoring Morningside's reprimand of, "Language, Mr. Potter!"
"You don't know a single thing about me!" I continued, "And don't you dare insinuate that you can see right through me, you blind, judgemental shrew!" And with that, I fired my first spell at her.
Surprised, Evans couldn't raise her wand in time. She couldn't even doge out of the way like I had done to so many of her spells she sent my way. The jet of neon blue light hit her squarely in the chest, above her heart.
I watched with absolute horror as she fell into the desks behind her with an almighty crash.
A/N: Wow, that's my first ever cliffhanger! Like it? ... I thought not.
Okay so I have a question for all you readers, Do you like Lily's POV chapters? I got a review that said they almost turned her off from the entire story and I was all, "Gee, blunt much?" but then I got to wondering. Is that what the rest of you think? I know myself I'm not too thrilled with Lily's chapters, but I think they move the plot along when with James's ones they're all, "Marauders just wanna have fun!"
Please tell me what you think, I'd really appreciate it